For Penn’s field hockey team, a matchup against a struggling Brown team could not have come at a better time.
Fresh off a disappointing overtime loss to a very talented Yale team, the Quakers are hoping they can duplicate their success and come out with the win this time when they travel to Providence, R.I., tomorrow at noon.
And while the strong performance against Yale should definitely encourage the Quakers (4-10, 1-3 Ivy), last Saturday’s game was yet another heartbreaker in a string of devastating last-second losses that have plagued Penn this year.
“We’ve lost three Ivy League games, all in overtime,” coach Val Cloud said. “I think my team is getting a little tired of it.”
As tired as they may be, the Quakers should feel rejuvenated by their last performance and by the return of star senior back Sarah Warner, who missed the Yale game battling a 24-hour virus.
Despite not practicing Wednesday after the second postponement of their game against Columbia, the Quakers should be more than ready for a Brown team (5-10, 0-5) that has yet to win a conference game this season.
For the Ivy cellar-dwelling Bears, the truth lies in the numbers: while they do manage to score 2.83 goals a game, compared to Penn’s 1.57, they also give up 5.41 goals to their opponents.
Those numbers are even more telling considering they lead the League with 8.91 saves per game. As a result, they sit at seventh in save percentage with a .671 mark.
The Quakers, led by a balanced offensive attack featuring junior midfielder Laurel McGarvie and senior midfielder Kelsey Tahan, will look to exploit Brown’s porous defense. McGarvie ranks fifth in the Ancient Eight with 0.71 goals per game.
Penn will also look to capitalize on corners, which have been a rare commodity this season.
Brown leads the Ivy League in corners allowed with 166. To put that into perspective, the first-place Princeton Tigers have given up just 64 corners.
Despite their shortcomings, the Bears should not be overlooked. Just a season ago, Brown took Penn into overtime, with the Quakers pulling out a 2-1 win in the second-to-last game of the season.
And while that may seem troubling, given that Penn is 0-4 in overtime games this season, Cloud has reason to be optimistic.
“I think we’re a better team than Brown, at this time,” she said. “Hopefully, [we] won’t get in another overtime.”
Nevertheless, the Quakers cannot afford to drop this game to Brown.
With three games remaining on the schedule, all against Ivy League opponents, the Red and Blue have a great opportunity to string together some wins and rise up the Ivy standings.
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